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Waze is starting to roll out level crossing warnings worldwide

The navigation app Waze, owned by Google, introduces a global safety feature that warns users of upcoming level crossings.

The feature is not entirely new and was quietly launched in the U.S, Belgium, and Canada earlier this year, but Waze says it is now expanding the warnings to more areas. In some countries, it works with official data from rail operators, while in others (like the UK, Italy, Israel, Brazil, Mexico) it relies on its community of local map editors to add warnings.

“Railroad crossing warnings were rolled out on Waze earlier this year, but with more people returning to the roads after the COVID-19 outbreak, we are highlighting this functionality to promote road safety,” a Waze spokesman said. The edge.

The alerts will appear as a popup in the Waze app, or you can turned off by users. To disable the warnings, users can go to Search> Settings> Map View> Reports> Railroad Crossing and deselect ‘Warn Me While Driving’. It is not clear exactly how many crossings are listed in Waze’s database or how coverage may vary between countries.

How the alerts are displayed in the app.
Image: Waze

Many railroad organizations, such as the US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), have been too push for GPS apps to integrate railway alerts for years. Safety agencies say drivers are still confused about where and when to stop near level crossings, especially when fatigued, and warnings from navigation apps like Waze can help remind them of these dangers. The most recent data of the FRA for 2018 reported that there were 2,217 collisions at level crossings in the US, 262 of which were fatal.

Dani Simons, Waze’s head of public sector partnerships, said the position was the result of a “cross-sectoral, cross-sectoral collaboration, both internally within Waze and the community, that worked together to help fellow drivers map out all of the highway. railway junctions. “